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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    With more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute, it's physically impossible to keep track of the content on YouTube. But in YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) Final Cut King, "Jedi Kitten with the Force"

    The force is strong with this cat as he makes havoc for his owner and levitates a goldfish out of his bowl after watching a Star Wars prequel. Even though he appears to be thwarted, he still manages to pull a Darth Vader in a tight spot.

    2) GrandpaPlaysGames, "Our 84 year old Grandpa plays Videogames!"

    If you play video games with your parents or grandparents, one of two things will probably happen. They can get frustrated and give up, or watching them will be more entertaining than the game itself, as was the case with this grandfather who picked up Black Ops 2.

    3) The Unusual Suspect, "Star Wars: Into Darkness"

    Now that J.J. Abrams is officially directingStar Wars: Episode VII, it was only a matter of time before the Star Wars/Star Trek mashups started appearing online. The one pairs the music from Star Trek Into Darkness with clips from the original Star Wars trilogy.

    4) etoilec1, "PSY - Flipbook STYLE"

    The pop culture phenomenon known as "Gangnam Style" is cooling down, but that doesn't mean it's dead yet. Psy's famous music video is recreated shot-for-shot in a number of flipbooks by YouTuber etoilec1. While the video lacks the song itself, you can always play it in the background (although it's not like Psy's hurting for YouTube views nowadays).

    5) Magic Of Rahat, "Drive Thru Invisible Driver Prank 2"

    The pranksters behind the original Drive Thru Invisible Prank are back to mentally screw around with fast food employees. The driver is hidden as a seemingly empty car drives to the drive thru window, and the workers don't really know what to do about it.

    Photo via FinalCutKing/YouTube

     


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  • 01/30/13--04:33: The Morning GIF: Meme season
  • Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

    Daffy Duck vs. Bugs Bunny. Grumpy Cat vs. Darwin the Monkey.

    It's war.

    Bugs and Daffy are mortal enemies, or at least as mortal as Looney Tunes allows, but for once, they're not fighting over who's being hunted.

    No, this time, the two pair off in the Darwin Monkey/Grumpy Cat debate, the feverish, neverending race to seize the public consciousness. Who wins?

    We all do.

    GIF via Hobo Lunchbox/Tumblr


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    According to multiple reports, a local cat has found a way to skip the gym and still maintain abs of steel.  

    “Basically, he found an old shopping bag that has a picture of this really buff guy on the front, and he sits in it.  All day. Without moving,” said Laney Withers, who lives next door to the cat.  ”It’s really not a very good trick, and no one is buying it.”

    The cat could not be reached for comment.

    Via mocas.


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    Mourning the loss of Liz Lemon in your life? So are we. But don't worry: Fandom is here to help.

    We've rounded up 10 of the best 30 Rock fanfics for you to enjoy while you're going through withdrawal like Liz without coffee. Now with 100 percent more Wesley Snipes! (Nope, still not the one from Blade.)

     

    1) "Happiness Is ...

    Just a day in the life of Kenneth Parcell.

    Best line: Kenneth tapped his stopwatch. 5 AM on the dot, with work in one hour. It was a good thing that he'd aced sleep deprivation training in deep-cover missionary class at Kentucky Mountain Bible College!

     

    2)"So I Don’t Have to Dream Alone"

    This fic is subtitled "the aforementioned 30 Rock Liz/Gretchen pseudo-baby[crack]fic." What more do you need, really?

    Best line: They’d only been friends for, what, two weeks, before Gretchen had unceremoniously dumped her. Dumped by a woman she wasn’t even dating. When she wasn’t even a lesbian.

     

    3) "In a Tub, in a Car, Up Against the Minibar"

    One of many Jack/Liz fics that scratch our ids and so forth, this one features Liz Lemon making fun of Sarah Silverman, which is so great it's a shame we got distracted from all the meta by all the sex.

    Best line: And Liz is meeting him more than halfway, because oh, vlergherg, it feels good. But she can't just give in to Jack Donaghy. He's old. He's a Republican.

     

    4) "Just Like Notting Hill"

    Let's face it, you know you wanted Liz/Wesley, because we all know how the Internet feels about pasty, prattish British dudes. Well, you're in luck: the Internet hath delivered. 

    Best line: The marathon strip karaoke contest between the late-night NBC Olympics host, a cavalcade of grandstanding athletes-turned-commentators, and an unending line of rowdy, drunken Vancouverites filing through the studio was one of the network's many dark spots during the 2010 Winter Games coverage. Three pages were hospitalized after throwing themselves at the cameras in an attempt to stop the broadcast.

     

    5) "Backstage Passes"

    Five scenes Kenneth Parcell witnessed and never told anyone about.

    Best line: “You called her by the wrong citrus, sir!”

     

    6) "Carbonite"

    This is an angsty early-season footnote to Liz/Floyd—a graceful and funny/sad look at the trials of Liz Lemon.

    Best line: "Tell Cleveland hi from me," she says. Cleveland will say hi back, she's pretty sure. New York would ask what the fuck was the matter with you.

     

    7) "Darling, Can You Hear Me, S.O.S. (Or, This Was a Lot Sexier When It Happened on The Nanny)"

    Liz and Wesley run into each other on a couples' cruise. And then get shipwrecked. Alone. Together.

    Best line: "Carol was always so nice to me. Not everyone. Just me. Like I was ... his really special lady. Like I could do no wrong. And sometimes, I would just find myself looking at him and thinking I WANT TO BITE YOUR FACE OFF." She realizes that she's strangling the air a little bit.

     

    8) "Whatever You Say"

    What if Liz Lemon were a geologist? Obviously she'd get stuck in a cave, in a blizzard, with Jack Donaghy.

    Best line: They'd been in the snow cave for three hours and he was starting to think they wouldn't resort to what he desperately wanted to resort to.

     

    9) "Kippers and Whistles"

    More Liz/Wesley! It's almost like an arranged 19th-century marriage, except with indoor plumbing.

    Best line: "You are absolutely doing the right thing, Liz, crazy spontaneous weddings to some guy your friends and family have barely met never go out of style, and I'm almost certain they always work out really well, especially for whichever person has less money and didn't sign a prenup."

     

    10) "Fangirls"

    Jack decides to do something nice for Liz, and actually succeeds. 

    Best line: "Remember what I told you. Keep that sappy middle-aged soul under wraps."

     

    Bonus: The One Where Everybody Thinks They're Doing It (Even the Press): "(Don't) Picture Me & You"

    Best line: Oh of course. They finally get real breakdancers on the show, it goes perfectly, and Jenna gets jealous.

     

     

    So what are you going to miss about 30 Rock that not even fanfic can supply? Let us know!

    Illustration by paradoxxymoron/Deviantart


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    Here at the Daily Dot, we've made it (we hope!) abundantly clear that we consider the culture of fandom and fanfiction to be a rich and valuable one. One interesting aspect of this culture that is becoming more and more apparent is that the line between amateur fanfiction and published works is often very, very blurry. In fact, sometimes the only difference is that one is free and one is for sale.

    Nowhere do we see this overlap more clearly than in the sprawling two-hundred-year-old Jane Austen fandom, where sequels, rewrites, Alternate Universes, and retellings of Pride and Prejudice and its sisters are so numerous that they've spawned their own acronym: JAFF (Jane Austen fanfiction). In Austen fandom, you can read thousands upon thousands of fanfic online, at sites like the Derbyshire Writers Guild, the Republic of Pemberley, Pen and Ink, Fanfiction.net, and many more. But you can also buy literally hundreds of published works of Jane Austen fanfiction, some of which started out as free online fanfiction. Want a novel where Darcy is a vampire or a werewolf? There are several! Want one where Pemberley is a ranch in the American West, Darcy is a rich Arabian desert sheik, or where everyone is gay? Published Austen fanfic has all those covered, too.

    What’s pretty cool is that Austen fandom makes no distinction between the published stuff and the free stuff. Inspired By Austen is a website devoted to cataloguing and reviewing the endless number of published works of Austen fanfiction. Creator Jennifer Johnson writes, "I've been a fan of Jane Austen since high school, when my mom made me watch Pride and Prejudice... I read her completed novels and watched the film adaptations, but that wasn't enough. So I turned to fanfiction."

    We decided to do something different in Fic Rec Wednesday this week, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. The Daily Dot invited Johnson to give us her top ten list of favorite published Austen fanfics. Johnson came up with 15. "There are hundreds of Pride and Prejudice adaptations out there, so narrowing them down to the top fifteen was a bit daunting," she tells us.

    I included some of my own favorites (like Pride and Prejudice and Jasmin Field and Lost in Austen) as well as fan favorites that I haven't read yet (like Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and Pride and Popularity). Mostly I tried to include a variety, so I hope you'll be able to find a few new favorites of your own from this list. But keep in mind this is only a jumping off point into an entire library of Austen fanfiction.

    As for the list order, adaptations vary so widely that I found it difficult to order them by preference. Instead, I grouped them according to type of fanfiction. The list starts with books that are Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view, then it moves on to sequels, modern adaptations, and the paranormal.

     

    Without further ado, here’s a list of the best published Jane Austen fanfic, for fans with both sense and sensibility:

    1. Mr. Darcy's Diary, by Amanda Grange
    Grange gives a faithful portrayal of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's point of view, as written in his diary.

    2.  Fitzwilliam Darcy, the Gentleman series, by Pamela Aidan
    A three-part novel beginning with An Assembly Such As This that follows Darcy through Pride and Prejudice, filled with interesting new characters and plenty of verbal fencing between him and Elizabeth.

    3. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, by Linda Berdoll
    A more sensual sequel to Pride and Prejudice, filled with the misunderstandings and follies that make the original so endearing.

    4. Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, by Sharon Lathan
    The first of Lathan's series of sequels, beginning with the Darcys' wedding day, and following their continuing love story in marriage.


    5. Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries series, by Carrie Bebris
    Elizabeth and Darcy stumble upon several mysteries after their marriage, most of them involving characters from Austen's other books.

    6.  Mr. Darcy's Daughters, by Elizabeth Aston
    The first of Aston's series of sequels takes place over twenty years after Pride and Prejudice, and follows the children of Elizabeth and Darcy.

    7. Pride & Prejudice & Jasmin Field, by Melissa Nathan
    Jasmin takes the role of Elizabeth Bennet in a stage production of Pride and Prejudice, and inevitably clashes with the snobby director who plays Mr. Darcy

    8. Austenland, by Shannon Hale
    Jane tries to cure her obsession with Mr. Darcy by going to a resort for Austen lovers - complete with empire-waist gowns—but stepping into Austen's world can never be that simple.

    9. Pride & Popularity, by Jenni James
    A high school adaptation, where one of the popular boys is determined to make her the president of his fan club.

    10. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith
    A tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the novel, where England is overrun with undesirables (aka zombies).

    Bonus: The Best of Pride and Prejudice in the Media:

    1. Pride and Prejudice, by Nancy Butler and Hugo Petrus
    A graphic novel adaptation by Marvel with wonderful illustrations.

    2. BBC's Pride & Prejudice
    The definitive, six-hour adaptation, featuring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Closely follows the book, with the exception of the classic lake scene.

    3. Lost in Austen
    A hilarious film based on the novel of the same name, where a modern London girl switches places with Elizabeth Bennet—and messes up the entire novel.

    4. Bridget Jones' Diary
    A modern classic, featuring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant. A young woman tries to improve her life by writing a diary, and becomes entangled with her own Mr. Darcy.

    5. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
    A clever modern adaptation, where Lizzie starts a vlog as a grad school thesis and ends up capturing her sister's love life—and her own.

    Have any favorite Austen fanfics of your own you'd like to share? Let us know what we've missed!

    Photos via Inspired by Austen; screengrab via lizziebennet/YouTube


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    Apparently, the difference between a stalker and the paparazzi is that stalkers harass ordinary people, whereas paparazzi stick to celebrities.

    This week, Miley Cyrus gave the Internet a horrifying view of paparazzo behavior when she posted video of a creepy-looking older gentleman who (according to Cyrus’ commentary) parked in a handicapped spot before jumping out of his car and repeatedly running a few yards ahead to photograph Cyrus as she and her fiance walked her dogs through a residential neighborhood.

    Cyrus originally posted the video to her Pheed account with the following introduction:

    "In reply to the photos of me attempting to take my dogs on a walk while a man I've never seen before harassed me... All for your entertainment I suppose. Hope this is enlightening. Not to mention he was driving around in a "handicap" vehicle recklessly while I walk in a neighborhood full of children praying he doesn't hit a small child or one of my dogs... Lost 2 already this year, don't wanna go through that again."

    Cyrus’ exasperation with the paparazzi is nothing new; earlier this month she tweeted in support of Justin Bieber, after a would-be photographer died in a car accident while trying to snap candid pictures of Bieber.

    A similar sense of exasperation likely motivated Cyrus to videotape the as-yet unidentified photographer.

    “Isn’t it fun, being filmed while you’re on a walk?” Cyrus sarcastically says inn the video. “Never seen this middle-aged man before in my life. If you’re any other 20-year-old woman and you’re on a walk, and this sketchy—”

    The video, and Cyrus’s commentary, cut off there.

    Though originally uploaded to her Pheed account, the was re-posted many times on YouTube, mainly by those sympathetic to Cyrus.

    “Imagine if any other middle aged creep was running along in front of a 20 year old girl taking creepy pics like this!” wrote a commenter on one such YouTube reposting. “The cops would be called immediately.”

    Screengrab via YouTube

     


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    There's no question Vine's made a bit of a splash over the last few days—even attracting a few well-known faces.

    Several famous people are already using the Twitter-owned video-sharing app to share moments from their lives. From technology fan Alyssa Milano to elder statesman Paul McCartney, the stars are out in force. 

    Here's a look at 10 celebrities who are on Vine already—along with the star of a very well-known meme. 

    1) As yet, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee has not succumbed to the pressure to add to the Vine zeitgeist by posting a sex tape. Instead, here's a slightly nightmarish, jittery clip he shot of lights and a recording studio.

    2) Kobe Bryant has yet to grace us with a clip, but he is there. Given how long it took for him to start tweeting, however, we might not see the Black Mamba slithering around Vine any time soon.

    3) Jimmy Fallon's second attempt at a vine is kind of hilarious, if only because the dude can't stop laughing. 

    4) Film director Kevin Smith opted to film a screen to get a decent vine of daughter Harley playing a battle of the bands.

    5) Alyssa Milano obviously got a sneak peek. Her first vine was shared three months ago. She's posted five more since the app launched last week.

    6) These days, Fred Durst is more likely to be rollin' at a golf course.

    7) Paul McCartney's having some fun by asking people to guess the names of remixed songs.

    8) Why is Tyra Banks so terrifying

    9) Enrique Iglesias has one vine so far. It is a clip of a YouTube video in which rapper Pitbull swings around a giant bra. There's so much wrong with this

    10) Justin Bieber isn't on Vine yet, but Dick Van Dyke is? The legend's teaching these whippersnappers a thing or two

    By far the most important person on Vine to date is Scumbag Steve, because Blake Boston is just the best. Here's hoping Vine doesn't block his eponymous hashtag like Instagram did.

    Photo via Jimmy Fallon/Vine


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    More 800 million YouTube users need their YouTube news. Andy Smith is determined to give it to them.

    Since 2007, the Ohio-based YouTuber has delivered the latest in community news, with stories ranging from the alarming to the heartwarming. Smith is on the topics that you want to know and the stories that you need to know, and he'll tell you how they'll both affect your time on site.

    Every Wednesday, the Daily Dot spotlights a video from Smith's triweekly updated Lion's Den channel.

    This week, Smith offers his take on YouTube's pending subscription packages, dissects YouTube's fascination with Super Bowl ads, and gets into the video-sharing site's fair use policy.

    Photo via The Lion's Den News/YouTube


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    With more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute, it's physically impossible to keep track of the content on YouTube. But in YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) Alberto Belli, "For Your Consideration"

    Anne Hathaway is practically a shoo-in for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, but she's not taking any chances. With one final video (to the tune of "I Dreamed a Dream"), she reminds the Academy just why she deserves that award on Oscar Night.

    2) Kickstarter, "Oh hey, I didn't see you there"

    Oh hey, I didn't see you there reading this article, but Kickstarter noticed how many of you start off your campaign videos in a similar manner. There were so many of them they placed them into a montage that ranges from the believeable to the completely ridiculous.

    3) cdza, "History of Wooing Men"

    Men have a history of wooing women through song over the years, but as it turns out, the ladies have done their fair share of wooing, too. While the earlier tunes are woo-worthy, things start to go downhill once you hit the mid-90s.

    4) Nerdist, "All Star Celebrity Bowling: RoosterTeeth vs. freddiew/Key of Awesome/Nerdist"

    On the latest "All Star Celebrity Bowling," Chris Hardwick brought an all-star YouTube cast together to compete in a game filled with Lebowski references, Play-Doh, Freddie Wong special effects, and rapidly decreasing sobriety.

    5) Official Comedy, "Super Bowl XLVII Trailer (Harbowl & Warrior Mashup)"

    The real story this weekend isn't the game pitting the 49ers against the Ravens, but rather the matchup between the Harbaugh brothers as they are forced to play against each other in a mashup with Warrior (as well as the biggest game of their lives).

    Photo via Alberto Belli/YouTube


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    Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

    It creeps silently, blindly, lolling obscenely, tentacles waving, 'neath the rotting carcasses of dead and decayed vegetation in the fetid darkness of the forest floor. Suddenly, it strikes!

    You've been slimed!

    The velvet worm, whose scientific name Onychophora means "claw bearers," is a forest invertebrate that hunts its prey with what the Science Llama Tumblr terms "spray-and-pray" tactics, using guns that launch cold slime instead of hot lead. The unhallowed hunting technique is explained thusly:

    In order to detect prey it senses slight changes in air currents with bumps on its skin and chemical sensors on its antennae to let them essentially taste something to determine if its food. When a prey item is eventually encountered, the slime is forcefully squirted through oral papillae near the head and launched up to 30cm in a sort of spray-and-pray manner. Once the slime contacts the victim, it quickly dries ensnaring it, where now the worm then seeks to eat the organism by injecting its saliva and digestive enzymes turning the innards into a slurpee.

    Delightful. A crawling, protean thing, essentially mindless yet equipped with uncanny senses that let it taste you remotely as you stroll by, heedless of being obscurely nommed by this writhing mass of cold flesh. A writhing mass of cold flesh which then shoots out adhesive slime to immobilize and totally gross out its helpless prey.

    The truth is not only stranger than fiction, it's considerably more revolting.

    If you'll excuse me, I have to brush all this salt off my laptop...

    GIF set via WhenScienceCalls/Tumblr


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    Rising star Tyler Oakley may have one of the loudest voices on YouTube these days.

    A self-proclaimed "fangirl," Oakley's humor, talent, and devotion to pop culture have captured the hearts of over half a million followers on YouTube, Tumblr, and Twitter. Oakley is rapidly ascending to the status of vlogger elite, frequently doing guest appearances on YouTube’s What's Trending, hosting red carpet events, and hanging out with the likes of Lady Gaga, Perez Hilton, and YouTube's own Kingsley. (The ship name, by the way, is Tingsley.)

    Oakley started vlogging as a freshman at the University of Michigan. Because of his honesty and commitment to talking about his identity as a queer man, he quickly gained popularity for his videos, in which he tackles everything from queer politics to the constant elation of fangirling Glee's Darren Criss and the lads of One Direction. Along with doing a widely publicized video for It Gets Better, Oakley has also done extensive work with the Trevor Project, a nonprofit working to prevent bullying and suicide among queer and genderqueer youth.

    Oakley is part of a growing YouTube community whose success stretches across multiple platforms and ranges of conversation. Like many of his contemporaries, Oakley has largely defined his own niche and created his own brand through an awareness of his audience and a commitment to sharing his life with them.

    He discussed with the Daily Dot that process, keeping it real, and of course, the essence of good fangirling.

    DD: You and the Vlogbrothers both started your vlogs as a way to keep in touch with the people you loved, and from there the vlogs evolved as you gained an audience. What changes as you grow more aware of yourself within a community space?

    I feel good about that evolution. I've been on YouTube for over five years now, and I'd be embarrassed if there WEREN’T obvious changes in my opinions, attitudes, sense of humor, my look, how I edit, and just about every other factor. I want to always be growing. That's how you get better.

    DD: You've said that you want to be as open and honest as you can on your vlogs, but I'm sure you've had experiences with people who use that honesty as fodder for attacks and ridicule. What helps you stay committed to being real?

    I'm 100 percent me because if there's one kid who might find me in a random YouTube search and feel less alone in the world seeing me achieve my dreams by being who I am, then I owe it to them to be myself.

    I've seen people claim that I'm putting on a lisp to seem gayer or that I talk about One Direction because it might get more views—I just don't have time for that. My biggest priorities include living my life to the fullest, knowing and working toward my goals, and using my platform to reach and connect with people in meaningful ways. That simply leaves no time for being or acting as someone that I'm not. And of course the attacks do get to me, sometimes... because the loudest people online are the negative people. I just find peace in the fact that I'm living my dream and doing good, and they're sitting at home complaining about it.   

    DD: Your fanbase is currently torn on who it ships more, you/Kingsley or you/Darren. Guide us!

    Oh lord! This is a tough one. That's one thing I've found about people who watch YouTubers, and specifically, people who watch my videos—if it fits, it ships... and EVERYTHING fits. I can tweet at the most random YouTuber, and someone out there will ship it. I personally ship me and @TacoBell. (But for real, I'd give anything for my OTP (Tyler/Darren) to be real.)

    DD: Does Darren watch your videos?

    I've never asked! The few times we've chatted face to face have been at charity events, and it would feel pretty self-indulgent to ask something like that. From the warm and adorable way he greeted me the last time we ran into each other, he definitely at least knows who I am. That's more than enough for me!

    DD: You can only sing one [Stephen] Sondheim musical for the rest of your life; which one is it?

    So many to pick from! The music from Into the Woods will always have a special place in my heart though.

    DD: Did your homophobic aunt ever respond to your open letter to her?

    Nope! Haven't seen her since, either. Not really worried about it.  

     

    DD: There's been a lot of controversy lately over YouTube networks like Machinima exerting control over YouTube creators. Do you think there's a danger of creative content in the community being stifled by corporate interests?

    Not all YouTube networks are evil! I've heard a LOT of drama about a LOT of networks, but I've been lucky enough to be with one that really values the talent with which they work. Since I signed with Big Frame, my entire experience has been nothing but positive and rewarding in so many ways. Can't say enough good things about them.

    DD: Why did it take you so long to get a Tumblr?

    I don't know! Tumblr was just one of those things where I didn't get it until I made an account... and then as soon as I did, I realized what I was missing out on. Nowadays, I can't get away from it! It's great for me especially because I really have free range to use it as a blog exactly how I want, and people don't have to go out of their way to see my updates. Most of the time, it's funny stuff I find around the Internet, with a bit of my own stuff sprinkled throughout. It's gotten to the point where people know my Tumblr's “voice” so well that they send me things that they think belong on my blog—and most of the time, they're right!

    DD: I just did an article about how "omg i can't even stop it with your face" is the new way to express a romantic ideal. You adopted that language even before you joined Tumblr, when you identified yourself as a fangirl. Was that a conscious choice?

    It all happened very organically. When it's the majority of what you read, it becomes the majority of how you speak. So the more I engulfed myself with the Tumblr community, the more I picked up the language—and how I would type and chat with people... and then when I would make videos, it just is... how I talk.

    DD: What's the essence of good fangirling?

    Letting your pure excitement for someone or something go wild.

    DD: Recently on Tumblr there's been a wave of discussion centered around what some members of the community feel are harmful racist, sexist, and transphobic statements that you've made in the past—for instance, using the word "tranny" and dismissing claims of cultural appropriation. Do you think these incidents are being overstated?

    My reach comes with a lot of responsibility—and it's something that I take very seriously. Of course I wouldn't use the "t" word now, because I know better. The problem with the “social justice” mindset on Tumblr is that it's become a witch-hunt, and if you want to make anyone look bad in a certain light, keep searching. You'll find something that can be twisted. And once you find it, that's it—they can't be anything but racist, or sexist, or whatever you want to make them out to be.

    For me personally, as I go through my journey and as my career picks up, I’ve done nothing but reassess my priorities, my character, my opinions and my values—and I’m grateful that through the busyness of my successes, I’ve had time to reflect on my points for improvement. I don’t think that I should ever settle or feel like I’ve reached a plateau in how I’m acting on and thinking about each of those things. Everyone has done something stupid or said possibly offensive things in their past, and as long as what someone is doing and saying NOW reflects a more positive and supportive state of being than what they’ve done in the past, I’m not OK with villainizing them.

    DD: A huge ongoing criticism within the queer community is that Dan Savage gets to define what being "gay" is and isn't. You've spoken out against a "one size fits all" definition of gay men in the past, but how do you feel about the claim that the gay male experience doesn't leave room for anyone else?

    I've always believed that the Internet is a platform to speak your mind that anyone can take advantage of—with a range as drastic as Deepak Chopra to Ann Coulter. I do my best to promote people who I think provide a voice from a different aspect of the queer community that I don't necessarily have experience in, but at the end of the day, all I can provide is my own viewpoint. It resonates with some people, it doesn't with others.

    DD: The Trevor Project is obviously very important to you. Has your involvement with it changed the way you think of yourself and your role in the lives of your fans?

    The Trevor Project helps me realize the potential in everyone. Every life is so important, and you never know what someone can go on to accomplish in the world if you give them a helping hand when they're down and out. I want anyone who watches me to know that there are people who care about them, and one of the bravest things you can do is reach out for help. The Trevor Project can help.

    Screengrab via YouTube


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    By mirandate, FluffPo Correspondent

    St. Louis, MO — Francie, a cat who has long supported public television, became very annoyed Sunday when spoilers for this season’s Downton Abbey appeared on her Twitter feed. 

    Lilia Vert, a source close to the situation, noted, “Every Sunday evening, I hang out with Francie on the couch and we watch Downton Abbey. She purrs all the time during that show. But when she checked Twitter Sunday morning, she found out this season’s big twist, and was so annoyed she horked up a big hairball. Right now I think she’s responding to the person who revealed the ending, even though I warned her that reading Twitter the night of a big TV broadcast was risky if she didn’t want to be spoiled. Ah, who am I kidding. She’s already pretty spoiled.”

    Via Chris Erwin.


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    No one seems to care about Michelle Williams, a.k.a. the Lady Edith of Destiny's Child.

    Since the group disbanded in 2006, everyone can list the accomplishments of Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland without having to check their LinkedIn accounts. Bey is currently somewhere being flawless and figuring out her new Tumblr dashboard, while Rowland is busy producing the perfect pop song.

    Then there's Michelle. The rumored museum gift shop employee is a terrible liar about the obviously planned Destiny's Child reunion at the Super Bowl. A reporter asked Williams if she will join Beyonce's other personal assistant, Rowland, on stage, and she lied by saying, "I wish I could help you! It's still up in the air!"

    OK, MICHELLE. I'll personally drive over myself to your apartment (probably at one of those "mixed-use residential/lifestyle" malls where the bay windows overlooks an Aeropostale) and show you how to record Downton Abbey on your Dish Hopper. 

    WE KNOW YOU'RE NOT BUSY.

    While we haven't forgotten you. Michelle BB, there is new Tumblr called Poor Michelle that captures all the times America had to be reminded of your existence. It started about two weeks ago when there was a measurable pulse of her name on Google News.

    Anyway, look at all these pictures of Williams just screwing up or being flat-out forgotten about. At least you're not her!

    Photo via Poor Michelle/Tumblr


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    In 2011, Jeff Emtman came across a photo on Facebook that both disturbed and fascinated him. The picture featured a friend holding a recently birthed placenta in her hands.

    “I said to myself, 'Wow, that's really bothersome, and I don't know just why it's bothersome,'” the 24-year-old Emtman recalled over Skype. “It tied into some things I was thinking about, and it got me thinking that maybe I really needed to start doing art about the things that I'm afraid of. Because that list is about as long as the King James Bible."

    That idea spawned Here Be Monsters, the podcast Emtman launched last year. (Tagline: “The podcast about fear and the unknown.”) Each episode finds the Boulder, Colo.–based Emtman or one of his contributors diving into a true story that deals with some element of the real-life macabre, unknown, outre, or just plain strange. Inspired by that initial Facebook image, one episode delves into placentophagy, the increasingly popular practice of mothers eating their placenta, which some claim helps prevent postpartum depression and other pregnancy complications.

    In another jarring installment, a guest shares the story of his own circumcision … at the too-old-for-comfort age of 12. One episode finds an aspiring, American sea captain fleeing Burma during a period of political unrest, while an early episode dived into historical cartography and the monsters and serpents that once prowled the corners of maps.

    Clearly, in only 22 episodes, Here Be Monsters has featured as motley a collection of topics as any podcast on the landscape; with the loose remit of plumbing and exploring the strange, it’s impossible to predict what subject any given episode may tackle. Emtman comes by his stories through natural curiosity, the recommendations of friends, the suggestions of listeners, and via other avenues, but they all have one thing in common: They have to stick in his mind.

    “If I notice myself thinking about something over and over again, then I know it needs to be done,” Emtman explained.

    “If it’s something that gives me pause or makes me cringe, and is still in my head a week later, I find myself wondering ‘Why does this bother me so much? Why is this simple thing causing me so much distress?’ … I guess that’s what determines whether I’m interested in a story or not.”

    Emtman grew up in relative isolation in Washington near the Idaho border. His love for the medium of audio storytelling began with a fondness for audiobooks, growing over time into an appreciation for radio and podcasts as well. He designed his own major—“social portraiture,” the capturing of a person or story through multiple media formats—at the Fairhaven College for Interdisciplinary Studies in Bellingham, Wash. Initially, he focused on photography, but found himself falling in love with radio as a reporter, and later news director, for KUGS, the student radio station of Western Washington University. His first piece focused on the local roller derby league, and it immediately gave him a taste for the form.

    “I remember being kind of astonished at how much time it took to report even a short piece really well, but I also remember this absolutely incredible sense of accomplishment at the end of that piece, of having put something like that together,” Emtman said. “Now, mind you, it wasn't the world's best piece, but I thought it was pretty good, especially for my first try. And that's when it clicked with me.”

    Emtman took to radio and found himself feeling more enthused by that medium than the photography that he was focusing on. His decision to switch gears came during a long, sleepless night.

    “It was just one of those nights when you get too curious about the world, and your questions about the future become really prevalent and really important all at once,” Emtman remembered. “Long story short, I realized that I was in the wrong field and that I needed to switch things around a little bit."

    That was the same night Emtman decided he’d been living too much of his life motivated by fear and needed to face his insecurities head-on—the seed of an idea that would grow over time into Here Be Monsters.

    At first, that decision manifested into an entirely different idea. Long nervous and fearful around strangers, Emtman decided to meet as many as possible by hitchhiking across the country in the summer of 2011, an experience he details in the latest episode of Here Be Monsters.

    He graduated from college shortly after and settled in Boulder, working as an independent radio producer and in various side jobs. It was an email from Soundcloud, calling for applicants for their 2012 fellowships, that prompted Emtman to put together a pitch for Here Be Monsters. To his surprise, he was awarded with a $3500 fellowship—alongside a prestigious crop of shows that included former NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook’s DecodeDC and The Truth. He quit his job, started the podcast, and spent nearly four months working himself ragged churning out episodes full-time.

    Despite the litany of bizarre topics that populate Here Be Monsters—coupled with Emtman’s deep, occasionally mildly spooky voice, as well as the richly atmospheric use of sound and music—it’s worth noting that the podcast doesn’t play up its stories as ghastly or sinister. On the contrary, the podcast is reliably thoughtful and often uplifting; it delves into and details fears largely, it seems, to debunk them. The show is an ongoing exercise in affirming that the unusual is not, actually, that scary.

    “Maybe the show is in some ways a form of atypical, unconventional therapy. Where I'm going to go and figure out why I'm so weird, and if that helps you out too, great! And it seems like so far people have really enjoyed that aspect of it,” Emtman said. “But the world isn't black and white. That's something I'm learning every day and with every episode. Just because something makes you afraid, that doesn't mean that something is bad.”

    Take, as an illustrative example, episode 16—a discussion with director Sean Dunne, whose short documentary, American Juggalo, took Dunne deep into the heart of the Gathering of the Juggalos, the annual festival for the Insane Clown Posse’s devoted fans. Where much of the media coverage of the Juggalos is either scare-mongering or openly mocking, Dunne found a culture with much to offer those who feel ostracized by broader society.

    “I was actually pretty afraid of Juggalos, based on the people I’ve met who were a part of that identity, plus the fact that the FBI considers them a gang,” noted Emtman. “That was a real fear of mine. And talking to Sean Dunne really helped quell some of that.”

    Emtman’s openness to exploring a wide range of topics extends also to his philosophy of production: He welcomes listener ideas for episodes and will even encourage friends and friends of friends to get actively involved with the creation of an episode, should they have an idea. He’s planning future episodes that will touch on everything from weaponry in the era of 3-D printing to stories from inside a high-security prison.

    “I often say to people, ‘OK, this sounds really hard, and it is really hard, but it’s also totally doable,’” Emtman said. “Radio production is not something that you have to go to 10 years of school for.

    “You just have to be really good at listening to yourself, and really good at listening to things around you. Of course, those two things can be harder than they sound, but it’s just peanuts from there.”

    Photos via Jeff Emtman/Here Be Monsters


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    Just because you're a big, bad football sack master doesn't mean you can't have a big, bad heart. 

    Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt became the object of every little football fan's affection this week when he responded to a YouTube video of a 6-year-old named Breanna expressing sadness over the fact that her young age would prohibit the two from ever getting married. 

    The video, which was posted Jan. 12, has been seen more than 90,000 times and attracted more than 80,000 "awwww"s. It's cute. It's charming. It makes you feel good about the future of football fandom. 

    Watt learned about the clip shortly after returning from his weeklong trip to the NFL's Pro Bowl in Hawaii. When he got back, he tweeted a message to his 200,000 followers asking if anyone "happen[ed] to know this cute little girl."

    "We have to find her and turn those tears into a smile," he wrote. 48 hours later, he made his connection. 

    Watt came to the meeting holding a bouquet of flowers and a white jersey bearing his name and number. When the two met, Watt went down onto one knee and pulled out a Ring Pop and "proposed" to 6-year-old Breanna. 

    The happy couple hugged, posed for pictures, and then hugged again. After that, J.J. Watt stood up and probably went to eat a 6,000-calorie meal. Breanna, on the other hand? We're guessing she went home and texted all her friends about the new boyfriend she'd just planned to marry. 

    Photo via J.J. Watt/Twitter


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    For the past seven years, 30 Rock has introduced to the world a slew of goofy fake products (Sabor de Soledad chips, anyone?), but there's nothing more ubiquitous than it's faux social networking site, YouFace.

    It was introduced in a 2009 episode of the NBC comedy when the fictional NBC bought the "up-and-coming social networking site." The writers of 30 Rock used YouFace to chastise its home, as it did on a regular basis, for its colossal failure of a social network called myNBC.

    Jack Donaghy uses YouFace to trace an ex-girlfriend's relationship status (as one does on the Internet). Donaghy's obsession with the site is met with the chagrin of Liz Lemon, who says "those sites" are for "horny married chicks with kids who want to exchange pervy emails with their old high school boyfriends." Incidentally, that sounds like the premise of OKCupid.

    The site, a half-YouTube, half-Facebook clone, poked fun at several social media traits. For example, have you ever been "fingertagged" on YouFace? "[It] means I have been contacted by someone else on YouFace," explained Cerie, TGS's resident Millennial. Or how accurate it is to change your marital status from "working on it" to "weirdies." 

    And the site was revolutionary, too! It featured member-to-member calls.

    Anyway we're going to change our pholo ("a contraction for 'photo' and 'face") to a somber one after the series finale airs.

    Photos/GIFs via kristenwiigle/TumblrMain image via productdisplacement/Tumblr


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    With more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute, it's physically impossible to keep track of the content on YouTube. But in YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) NOC, "Every Fan of the Super Bowl in 200 Seconds!"

    Every Super Bowl has had its fair share of winners and losers, so the NOC captured the moment upon victory (or defeat) for every big game since Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers dominated the game.

    2) Matthiasiam, "99¢ Store Will Kill You"

    You might save money every time you choose the 99 Cent Store over your local Dollar Store, but if your energy drink says "death" on the can and your tissues disintegrate in your hands, it might be worth it to spend that extra penny.

    3) Chad Neidt, "My Team Missed the Super Bowl (Oh no) Song"

    If you didn’t support the Ravens or the 49ers during the NFL’s regular season, this is probably your new theme song. It's vague enough to apply to any football team and angsty enough to get out any frustration you have towards your team before the big team Sunday.

    4) AsapSCIENCE, "Brain Tricks - This Is How Your Brain Works"

    Through a series of brain tricks and illusions, the guys of AsapSCIENCE are able to demonstrate just how our brain works when it processes information through fast and slow thinking (e.g. reading someone's body language versus a multiplication problem).

    5) UCBComedy, "NFL Ultimate Fan Experience"

    Morgan Freeman narrates as he explains how superfans of the NFL are finally able to become part of the game. For the first time, fans can "give their all" donate limbs, ligaments, and organs to their favorite player.

    Photo via The NOC/YouTube

     


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    Football. Hip-hop culture. Bird reactions. We compiled a list of 10 subreddits that saw significant and steady growth throughout January. 

    As the Reddit community grows, the number of subreddits grows along with it. Hundreds of subreddits are added to the site each month, covering topics as broad as the NFL or as specific as the daily activities of someone named Liam. For some reason, these are the ones that caught on.

    For a daily update with the hottest subreddits and top discussions on the social news site, check out our Reddit Digest on r/dailydot and this site.

    1) r/birdreactiongifs

    Subscribers: 1,300+

    The subreddit, born in December 2012, has the potential to completely replace human reaction GIFs.

    2) r/onejob

    Subscribers: 1,600+

    Based on the "You had ONE job" meme, r/onejob collects real-world examples of people and corporations failing at their sole responsibility. The meme was featured on BuzzFeed as "19 People Who Just Want to Watch the World Burn."

    3) r/hiphop101

    Subscribers: 1,200+

    What does "lyrical" mean in hip-hop? What are the best hip-hop music videos? Subscribers to r/hiphop101 gather to ask questions, hold discussions, and share material on everything from the world of hip-hop music.

    4) r/indoorgarden

    Subscribers: 1,300+

    With the winter months forcing even the most hardened farmers indoors, it's no surprise that r/indoorgarden ballooned to over 1,000 subscribers in its 26-day history. Enthusiasts share their indoor gardening results, exchange tips, and help each other get acclimated to the presence of a roof and climate control.

     

    5) r/nfl_draft

    Subscribers: 1,800+

    January always marks the end of the season for every NFL team except two Super Bowl-bound finalists. Subscribers to r/nfl_draft converge on the subreddit to learn of news on trades, shake-ups in individual organizations, and to better plan next year's fantasy football teams.

     

    6) r/nflgifs

    Subscribers: 1,000+

    Even as the seasons wind down, football isn't all business. Subscribers to r/nflgifs gather to share animated GIFs of everything from touchdown dances to incredible plays to even coach reactions.

    7) r/shitcosmosays

    Subscribers: 2,400

    Subscribers to this brand-new subreddit gather to exchange the absolute worst advice for sex and relationships.

    8) r/speedrun

    Subscribers: 2,300+

    Every January, gyms and other athletic venues see an influx of people who made New Year's resolutions to live healthier lifestyles. Why can't their videogame counterparts do the same?

    In r/speedrun, community members time the speeds of various videogame characters, from Super Mario to Batman.

     

    9) r/storiesofwar

    Subscribers: 1,000+

    Subscribers to r/storiesofwar have found themselves in major combat with enemy soldiers, unforgiving terrain, and...aliens. Gamers flock to r/storiesofwar to share tales of how, on their very last life and using the last of their energy levels, managed to still overcome their game's toughest and most ruthless boss.

     

    10) r/whitepeoplegifs

    Subscribers: 7,500+

    Subscribers of r/whitepeoplegifs, a response to the superpopular r/blackpeoplegifs, share images of missed high fives and rhythmless dancing. Unless the GIFs feature Emma Watson. Sidebar rules keep her sacred.

    Photo via Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr


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    Every evening, the Daily Dot delivers a selection of links worth clicking from around the Web, along with the day's must-see image or video. We call it Dotted Lines.

    Finally, watch Samsung's S____ B___ commercial featuring Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Bob Odenkirk. There's a catch.


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    Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

    In a gray winter with considerably less range than 50 shades, it's sometimes hard to find a reason to perk up. That's something best left to spring, when the sap runs, the birds twitter, the worm turns … sorry, going emo again there.

    The absurdist-inspirational Tumblr Un Gif Dans Ta Gueule has the cure to the winter blahs for you, in one sweet, simple, and resonant image. Color Pipes is a rainbow of pipes set against dull concrete against a blank sky. At first nothing seems to be happening. Then, suddenly, a burst of color, of inspiration, and then another and another. And suddenly out the top pops a multicolored confetti, a shower of chromatic joy.

    A simple pleasure, perhaps, but a pleasure nonetheless!

     

    GIF via Un Gif Dans Ta Gueule/Tumblr


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